Logo: American Artist Chloe Dee Noble
Chloe Dee Noble's watercolors selected by Royal Academy of Arts in London
by: Kay Denny
Chloe Dee Noble has just won what in the art world is the equivalent to an actor being nominated for an academy award. And that's not all -- she is also one of 26,000 American women listed in the recently published 1993-94 edition of "who's Who in American Women."
"It's like my greatest dreams have come true," says the soft-spoken Wrightwood resident.
Many people may be familiar with Dee as former shopkeeper of The Purple Cow in Wrightwood, which featured custom quilts -- quite a few her own handiwork, country fashions and interior design items. In the shop were her own design labels, My Melon Collie Baby, a line of childrens' clothing, and Designer Critters which are soft fabric toys.
She also owned the popular cuisine shop Aubergine. Both shops closed in 1992 when she began concentrating again on her artwork, a lifelong endeavor.
The academy award nomination equivalent comes from The Royal Academy of Arts in London in its 225th summer exhibit. . . .
Two of her original watercolors were selected from 13,000 entries to be exhibited and sold in what is known in The Royal Academy of Art show as "the second salon." Only 4,400 pieces are shown there.
"The first salon" exhibits 100 pieces and these are the "creme de la creme" -- the finest of 13,000 entries from artists all over the world. These 100 are the academy award winners, says Dee.
Dee was invited to submit her art last year, but didn't. When she was invited again, she decided to try this year and ventured a couple of months ago to London to deliver her work. (It was during this trip that she was held hostage for more than an hour during an armed jewlery heist which netted $2.25 million dollars in jewels.)
Her selection to the "second salon" is virtually unheard of, according to her London agent. He had told Dee she wouldn't be considered for either the first or the second salon until after she had been invited four or five times.
Dee is in fine company in the "second salon." Van Gogh, Monet and Winslow Homer never made it to the "first salon." But Dee will keep submitting as long as she is invited. Once artists have been selected to the "first salon" they may put R.A.(Royal Arts) after their name -- having truly made it in the art world.
Dee was equally excited over her inclusion in the "Who's Who of American Women." She was nominated for her outstanding achievement in watercolor and design.
"You have no idea how thrilling it was to me," she said, as she pointed to some of the other names in the large volume -- Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Bush, Lillian Gish, Chris Evert, Whoppi Goldberg, Jacqueline Kennedy -- just to name a few. Dee's name is listed on the same page as Patricia Nixon.
The book goes to reference libraries and corporations. Her inclusion has already had an impact with requests for her work to be shown in various galleries.
Dee's background in art and design began as a three year old child when she began making doll clothes. She was only six years old when her aunt gave her lessons in oil painting on china and canvas. At age 11 she won first place in a national 4-H contest for a fashion outfit she designed and made.
She went on to study art the High Museum - Atlanta Art Institute and the University of Maryland, where she was named "Miss Maryland". That gained her entry into the modeling world and she spent several years as a "Parts model". She laughed about her feet and legs having been featured in many glamour magazines.
Straight out of art school, though, Dee went to work as the first female illustrator for the Pentagon. She marvels that she and the two other illustrators in the department have all come so far. The other two are now internationally renowned artists.
Her ability to design clothes translated into a promising career in the 1970s creating stage clothes. She worked closely with Liberace's manager and designed costumes for the likes of Janis Joplin and Billy Joe Royal.
Dee felt that she was headed for costume design in Hollywood, but unfortunately that career was derailed by a life-threatening illness. But she recovered from that illness and went on to study at the Royal College of Art in London.
She has worked in all media, but now concentrates on watercolor and sculpture. One of her watercolors was purchased at a London gallery by the Princess of Wales as a gift for the Queen of England.
Currently Dee is creating a mother and child display featuring six sculptures. She and her manager/publist will schedule tours of the exhibit in Great Britain, Australia and United States.
The sculptures are specifically for blind children to touch and learn of the relationships of mothers and their babies. The exhibit will be shown in museums and schools for the visually impaired.
Dee is also working on a cookbook to benefit the Womens Club of Wrightwood. It will be lavishly illustrated with her vegetable drawings. Anyone wanting to contribute a wonderful family recipe with any related story regarding the recipe is encouraged to send it to her.
The artist, who moved to Wrightwood in the late 1980s has had an intersting and unique life. Unspeakable tragedy has occurred along the way, but her life and her art are reflected in her words:
"Being an artist means ripening like a fruit tree - not forcing its sap, but standing confidently in the storms of winter, unafraid.
"Spring does eventually arrive, but only to those who are patient and who are there as if eternity lay before them - which it does. I relearn this lesson all the time - and it can be very painful. Patience is everything."
- - Article by Kay Denny
- - Photo, Noble in her garden by Kay Denny
Forensic Facial Reconstruction
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(artist, Chloe Dee Noble)
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